Tag Archives: fiction

Amity Dawn and the Great Manuscript Disaster of 2014

So, recently, I decided to pick up Amity Dawn again. I hadn’t touched it in months, and most of that was conversion from first to third person. I had about 25k to 30k words, eight full chapters, written. Sure, it needed a lot of work, especially the post-conversion chapters, but the switch had to be made. It’s hard to tell a story with such a broad scope from a first person perspective. I felt like limiting the perspective and head-hopping from chapter to chapter wasn’t doing the message justice, so I made the switch. The writing is harder, but I think the story will benefit.

Anyway, as I was saying, I decided to work on Amity Dawn for the first time in months, so I went to open the Scrivener file–and it was gone. I hunted high and low; Google Drive, Dropbox, all of my flash drives, my external hard drive, anywhere it could have feasibly been saved, I checked. Nothing. First, there was panic, then tears, then rage, and finally… resignation. Amity Dawn was gone, all almost-30k of it. I deliberately use cloud storage so these things don’t happen, and in four years of doing so, I’ve never had this happen.  I suppose I was over due for a horrifying, gut wrenching, tear-inducing catastrophe. Well, now I’ve paid my dues for the next few years, and catastrophe had better rein itself in. I don’t have time for this shit.

Moving on! Regardless of my whirlwind of pain and tears, I still wanted to work on Amity Dawn. Kadri was calling  me, and I still had my outline, which, thankfully, had been printed and was stuffed in my Bag of Holding. So, I began again. It needs work. I have to include elements I had forgotten about and never made note of. I need to add depth and description and dialog, but the basics are all there. Everything I wanted to convey. Everything that needed running through. I’m just starting chapter three and my manuscript is about 6k so far.  I have a long way to go, but it’s something that has, despite the grief, given Amity Dawn new life. I can see it clearly and retain my drive.

More importantly, I’ve re-learned the “back up your work” lesson. Following in the wake of a few friends, I’ve taken to 750words.com to drive me to keep writing. That’s actually what this blog post is contributing to tonight. While it won’t reach the full 750, I plan to use the rest for chapter three of AD. It’s refreshing to have a daily goal, instead of floundering with no direction. Discipline is nice, and I like getting badges and achievements for doing stuff–it’s the gamer in me. Honestly, if you have trouble getting going, try 750words.com. The first month is free so you can get a taste of whether it’s right for you, and, after that, is only $5 a month. (I have to note that I’m not getting paid to say that, and I’m not getting any special treatment. I’m just finding that it’s really working for me, and, if it works for you, too, I want to help facilitate that.)

Moral of the Story: Get back on the horse. Don’t let setbacks get you down. Keep fighting, keep writing, and back up your goddamn work.

Have you ever lost a significant amount of work to an accident like this? How did you get past it?

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“Ambassador”

It’s been a long time since you’ve seen any fiction from me, and I apologize for that. So, the first in ages. Enjoy.

Ambassador

The silence was sickening. Kadri sat across from Ambassador Andus Ordell, hands cuffed and clasped in her lap, as he paced the floor of his private suite. Lavishly decorated and afforded the chiefest comforts, Kadri had to wonder if Andus had lost touch with reality the day he put on that damn sash. Super-important Ambassador Ordell.

“Let’s have it,” he said, his temper reined in with a simple swipe of his fingers through his dark hair. He was handsome, but Kadri still wanted to punch him.

“I shot him. Adrian had been standing with his arm locked around Talmai’s neck, a knife at his throat. I fired without flinching. Is that what you want to hear?” she asked flatly, the handcuffs restricting her capitulating gesture.

“No!” snapped Andus, his arm flying upward, but he caught himself before he swept everything off of the polished glass coffee table. “I want you to be remorseful! Feel badly, Kadri! You murdered one of your own!”

“I don’t feel bad about it.” Her eyes lifted and met his, firm and cold. “In fact, I don’t feel anything. Adrian was a traitor; if I didn’t shoot him, someone else would have, and probably for reasons that didn’t benefit ‘The Cause.’ You know, ‘clones are humans, too, blah blah blah’ and all that bullshit you’re always spouting? They’d have shot him in cold blood, probably for money, drugs, or information. Not that I’m saying my principles were noble or anything. I’m just saying Adrian was the bad guy and I shot him to save my friend.”

Andus drew a steadying breath and clenched his fists. All Kadri could think about is how she’d choke him to death if he hit her, but he didn’t. His shoulders sagged and he shook his head a bit.

“You exhaust me,” he muttered, and looked her over. “I’m trying to give us a chance. Earth’s fractured governments are coming together and they want to order all clones decommissioned. Euthanized. Do you know how hard it is to change people’s minds?”

“He said he wasn’t a person. Adrian did… about Talmai. He was going to kill him because he’s an alien to us and because I cornered him for information. That was his play. I’m tired of hearing that. Adrian was a clone, same as you and me, and plenty of humans out there say we’re not people, either. I did for Talmai what you’re doing for all us clones, Andus, only you’re using politics and lies and I used a gun. Out there, that’s what it’s like. I’d have done the same for you.” Kadri shifted on the couch, which, like everything in Andus’ suite, was cream-colored. Way too clean.

With a sigh, Andus shook his head. “If it ever comes down to that, I’ll take the knife to throat. Good luck at your trial, Kadri. I’m sorry.” Stepping to the doors, he pressed his palm beside one of them, and it hissed open, letting in a pair of soldiers to take her to her cell.

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The Finish-Your-Failure-a-Thon Club

Welp, Wrimos!  I’ve started the thread for The Finish-Your-Failure-a-Thon!  The NaNo forums have rolled over, so we have a whole year to get to know each other, and 29 more days to pick a failure!

Join me in the NaNo forums at The Finish-Your-Failure-a-Thon Club thread!

I’m reworking Glass Dragons, a Camp NaNo failure from July 2011 that only amassed 22.6k words.

What’s your NaNo plan?  Are you rebelling?  Starting something new?  Give me the word!

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NaNo is Coming!

In light of my previous poll, I’ve decided to rewrite and continue my failed Camp NaNo novel from 2011, Glass Dragons.  It was the very first novel I began in my Cloneverse (which now consists of several stories) and a 50-page companion book (which is not even faintly close to finished).  The story follows Ethaniel, the first successful genetically-enhanced human clone in this particular project, and his adventures with Niran, an Ularian king of the Kirit criminal underground.

Naturally, I’m super excited!  I know that the spirit of NaNo is to start something new, but I have issues finishing things. NaNo is no challenge, but finishing something completely will be!  Glass Dragons is a fun concept that I don’t want to rot away, unfinished.

So, in light of that, I have a challenge. For everyone who loves NaNo but never finishes beyond the 50k, I challenge you to pick your favorite unfinished NaNo project to date and finish it this November!  Rework the outline, untangle your plot-knots, and pull yourself out of that corner! This NaNoWriMo on Goggles & Lace, it’s a Finish-Your-Novel-a-thon! When the forums reset, I’ll create a thread for us to chat about it!

Okay, folks, think about it! =]

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NaNoWriMo Poll!

NaNoWriMo approacheth!  I don’t know if I can do a full-fledged NaNo this year, what with school and work, but I’ll give it a shot.  What do you think this year’s NaNoWriMo should be?

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Another Update!

… Then it’s back to our regularly scheduled programming.  I promise.

Okay!  So my GoFundMe has been successful!  Thanks to the donations of the following fantastic people:

  • Jessica P. for purchasing two chain bracelets!
  • Keith L. for donating FIRST $25 and THEN another $10!
  • Mr. Anonymous for donating $25!
  • Shelley T. for donating $5!
  • Lounge Talk Radio (seriously, check out Gretchen & Toni and all they do. They’re amazing!) for donating $40!
  • Chris B. for donating $50!

Really, there’s no way I could have bought these books without all of you.  You’re so amazing.  I swear, my first novel will include a thanks to all of you for being so generous and supportive of my trek into the “down and dirty” aspect of creative writing.  If you wanted a bracelet, but couldn’t make it in time for the Book Fund drive, that’s okay!  I still make them, and I’ll have other designs up soon!  I’ll post my Etsy shop as soon as I revamp it, make some back stock, and get some decent photos!

For everyone who is entitled a bracelet or a key fob or earrings, etc, I got my rings in! I’ll be photographing the colors as soon as the sky stops being so dismal so I can steal some decent lighting.  Then you can give me your measurements and color choices.  It could be 10 days until I can make all of them.  I’ll get as many as I can out with what I have, but I have another shipment of rings on the way. <3

On another note, I’ve got more Writing Life content stewing around in my brain.  I really just need to find the time to write it down.  I’m also working on the plots for some short fiction that will be thrown about in here.  And, by popular demand, I will be restructuring Letters from Blackford Hill and using that plot for my NaNoWriMo this November!  Instead of seeking publication for it, I think I may self-publish it and make it available on G&L.  Very exciting things to come, my loves!

I also need to work on a signature for my posts….  I have a tablet, I can do it easily, I just keep forgetting.  TONIGHT!  Yes.

All of my love, G&Lers. <3

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Amity Dawn, GoFundMe, and JaxPPD!

Another progress report, guys.  I know you’re getting sick of them.  I’ll have new content for you soon!  Right now, I’m focusing on getting ready for school, muddling through draft one of Amity Dawn, and fundraising.  It’s been an odd summer; one filled with motivation, support, and love, and it just keeps getting better.

So, let’s start with Amity Dawn.  It’s still a working title, until I can find the one that pops at me.  I’m working through chapter 7 at this point, and getting ready to convert chapters 1-4 into third person perspective.  Kadri is just about to confront the primary villain for the first time, after muddling through lead-up conflicts lackeys for the first six chapters.  I’m excited.  This novel is taking shape slowly, coming to life from the outline I began a year ago this month.  Unfortunately, I put it down for a bit too long, but better late than never, right?  Before long, I hope, I’ll be hunting down beta readers.

As for school, I still need to raise some money to buy my books.  I’m still selling Byzantine chain bracelets for $20 a piece (+$1.50 for shipping within the US).  You can see the details of that in this post.  Alternatively, you can visit my GoFundMe page and check out some of the smaller donation amounts.  They come with neat perks.  =]

Lastly!  I may be sharing a table with another writer friend of mine, J. Meridith Harmon, who has recently released his new novel Snyper: A Matter of Caliberat Jacksonville Pagan Pride Day!  Check it out on Amazon!  Anyway, I’ll be volunteering at PPD regardless, so you should come visit if you’re in the Jacksonville area on Sept 22. =]  If we do get the slot, I’ll be selling bracelets, G&L bookmarks, and possibly prayer beads (if I can settle on a couple of patterns I like, I’m being fickle).  It’s going to be awesome.

See you kids around. <3

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Refinement & Personal Growth

I’ve got an update!  Well, there are several updates, really, but this is the first one.

I’ve recently enrolled in Southern New Hampshire University’s creative writing BA program.  Awesome, right?  I know, I know.  I’m still an active supporter of “you don’t need a degree to write a novel.”  It’s true.  You don’t.  You do, however, need experience in editing and refining your work to make it appealing to people.  Some of us have more trouble with that than others, and so I’ve decided to go back to school for something worthy of my passion.  I’ve tried so hard to look for a degree or certificate program that would be a quick fix to my lack of professional direction, but there’s nothing out there that really makes me happy.

Writing makes me happy.

Writing is what I spend my time doing and thinking about.

Helping other writers to write well is something I take pride in.  It’s rewarding for me.

I can’t help writers with any credibility if I don’t further educate myself.  I can’t edit and rewrite my work very well, either, if you want the truth, and some guided direction is going to do wonders for me.  I just know it.  I want to be able to bring the benefit of these courses to others.  I want to be able to help you, my readers, and anyone else who might stumble on this blog.

I also have an announcement!

INKWELL IMAGININGS HAS A NEW CHAPTER!

It’s true!  Our local writers’ group has spread from a small library in Southbridge, MA to three separate states!  I’d like to welcome Inkwell Imaginings – Oklahoma City to our ranks!  Honestly, we never thought it would ever get this far.  Now that it has, though, I’d like to talk to everyone about Inkwell.  I’ve told you about it before, I think.  It’s a group created for local fiction writers to gather socially, get their work critiqued by peers, and celebrate or commiserate over their stories.

Want an Inkwell in your town?  Let’s make that happen!  Keep an eye out for a post on “How to Create an Inkwell Imaginings Chapter Near You!”  I’ll include an FAQ about Inkwell, what we do, how to join or create your own, popular meeting formats, and how to contact me.

AMITY DAWN DOES NOT HAVE A NEW CHAPTER!

Don’t judge me, I’m getting there.  Chapter 6 will be done soon.  I’m debating on whether to go back and fix my first person chapters by putting them in third person, or if I should just write the whole thing, then go back and include it in my first-pass revision.  x_x Ah, writer problems.

Coming up next, a shameless plug for chain maille bracelets that will help me buy my school books… STAY TUNED! Same Bat time, same Bat channel.

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My First Story

So, Camp NaNoWriMo round 2 starts in 10 days, and The Office of Letters and Light is in the midst of a huge summer fundraising drive to keep their offices powered for the year.  One of the mini events associated with this drive is called “My 1st Story,” a social media call to arms for all of us to express why writing matters.  Check out the #my1ststory hashtag chat to see all of the amazing first stories Wrimos are sharing.

https://twitter.com/GogglesandLace/status/347806409246785537

This story about Mara was fully illustrated and I vaguely remember that she and the snake had been friends before she had to fight him.  It was on white construction paper and bound with that plastic party ribbon you use scissors to curl.  It stayed in my desk drawer in my room for about eight years before I threw it out.

Having written Mara’s little adventure 21 years ago, I don’t remember the details, but I’ll always remember the bubble-headed little princess with the brown hair and her squiggly evil green snake buddy.

If you want to show how Stories Matter, go to The OLL’s “My 1st Story” post and use their templates and ideas to tell us about yours!

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The Original 350 Words post, by Chuck Wendig

To prove I’m not an idea-stealing pain in the ass, I have to note that I had no idea Chuck Wendig made an ENTIRE post dedicated to the 350 words a day thing.  I only saw the graphic.  Because I’m lazy and negligent, I didn’t look deeper into it than that.  So, for your pleasure, here is the link to the actual Chuck Wendig post!

(The #350words chat is still going, though.)

HOW TO PUSH PAST THE BULLSHIT AND WRITE THAT GODDAMN NOVEL: A VERY SIMPLE NO-FUCKERY WRITING PLAN TO GET SHIT DONE

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